Primate presided at Clarkson’s wedding

Published September 1, 1999

At the news conference announcing Adrienne Clarkson as the country’s next governor-general, media reported her as coy about her recent marriage to her long-time partner John Ralston Saul.

“We’ve been married a short enough time still to be enjoying it and long enough to be respectable,” Ms. Clarkson said.

In fact, the wedding could hardly have been more respectable since the vice-regal couple’s nuptials were solemnized by the head of the Anglican Church of Canada, Primate Michael Peers.

The Queen, whom Ms. Clarkson will represent as governor-general, is “supreme governor” of the Church of England, although the archbishop of Canterbury is that church’s spritual leader. The Anglican Church of Canada became autonomous in 1893; Archbishop Peers is the church’s chief bishop.

The Primate is a long-standing friend of Ms. Clarkson since their days at Trinity College when Ms. Clarkson was an English major and Archbishop Peers a divinity student. The primate’s spouse, Dorothy, has been Ms. Clarkson’s personal assistant at CBC for the past 10 years.

The quiet wedding was held July 31 in the chapel of St. Mary Magdalene’s Church, Toronto, where Ms. Clarkson and Mr. Saul are parishioners. The rector, Canon Harold Nahabedian, assisted at the nuptial mass.

Archbishop Peers was in Scotland and could not be reached for comment, but Mrs. Peers said it was an “intimate, lovely” ceremony. “It is something that they had talked about on and off over the years and it seemed a good opportunity to reaffirm the committment of their relationship.”

Attending mass at St. Mary Magdalene on Sept. 12, Ms. Clarkson told the Anglican Journal she “will very much miss” the parish. “But I am also looking forward to once again being a parishioner in the Diocese of Ottawa. I grew up attending St. John the Evangelist in Ottawa. However, Rideau Hall is in the parish of St. Bartholomew and we will attend there.”

One of Canada’s best known journalists, Ms. Clarkson has also written two novels, been a diplomat and was twice honorary spokeswoman for the annual Anglican Journal appeal. Margaret Dinsdale is a freelance writer living in Toronto.


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